Maximize the benefits of a Writing Center session! Review the following questions before your appointment and make sure your essay satisfactorily meets these standards:
- Have you personally proofread your essay at least twice?
- Does your essay meet the specified requirements for the assignment? (Check your assignment sheet to verify that you have met your professor’s requirements for page length, topic choice, research demands, questions to answer, issues to address, and themes to discuss.)
- Does the format of your essay meet the MLA’s specific requirements for line spacing, margin size, font size & style, heading, page numbers, and indentation? (For more information on MLA format, see Hacker, 444-448)
- Is your title original, appropriate, and creative, and does it create a memorable first impression on your reader?
- Does your introductory paragraph begin with a strong hook that engages your reader? (For more information on introductory hooks, see Hacker, 20-21)
- Does your introductory paragraph provide sufficient and relevant background information, and does it alert the reader to your purpose?
- Does your thesis statement contain a specific controlling idea, a debatable assertion, and a clear preview of your essay? (For more information on thesis statements, see Hacker, 21-22)
- Does your essay rely on a series of balanced, well-developed body paragraphs to support and prove your thesis?
- Do your topic sentences orient the reader toward the specific point and purpose of each body paragraph? (For more information on topic sentences, see Hacker, 39-42)
- Do your body paragraphs contain credible evidence, precise facts, and specific details that support your thesis argument?
- Does your analysis explain the significance and value of your evidence and connect it to your thesis statement?
- Does your essay employ logical transitions between paragraphs and ideas, and do they smoothly signal movement from one idea to the next? (For more information on transitions, see Hacker, 53-56)
- Have you strategically organized your ideas and body paragraphs to guarantee a clear presentation and maximize the impact on your reader? (For more information on organizational methods, see Hacker, 43-50)
- Does your conclusion paragraph provide a comprehensive review of your essay, and does it reconcile the value of the current essay with the future?
- Does your essay maintain grammatical consistency with regard to verb tense, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and sentence structure)
- Do you use proper punctuation techniques to ensure there are no sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma-splices, or confusing passages in your essay?